What is Queer Heritage?

Queercache and the Epistemology of the Closet

  • Visa Immonen
Keywords: cultural heritage, geocoaching, queer heritage, urban history, heritagisation


The present article explores the possibility of queer heritage. In 2017, artists Kalle Hamm and Dzamil Kamanger organised a community art project called Queer- cache in Helsinki, and I use it as a case study on the heritagisation of queer pasts. Queercache borrowed its form from geocaching, presenting twelve caches with urban stories and memories. It asked whether phenomena which deviate from norms – the rejected past – can be recognised as heritage. As a means of analys- ing heritage discourse, i.e., the process of identifying and treating something

as heritage, I use the concept of the epistemology of the closet. It describes and questions heteronormatively conditioned ways of knowing. The epistemology, and heritage discourse have commonalities, since both are processes of signification characteristic of modernity, the core of which are identification, valuation and knowing. However, Queercache nurtured queer memories without the stories necessarily meeting criteria associated with heritage such as continuity, authen- ticity and expertise.


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How to Cite
Immonen, V. (2022). What is Queer Heritage? : Queercache and the Epistemology of the Closet. Lambda Nordica, 27(2), 41–68. https://doi.org/10.34041/ln.v27.788